YC Hertfordshire supports National Care Leavers’ Week

02 November 2018

YC Hertfordshire held four events across the county for all Hertfordshire care leavers and those preparing to leave care.

National Care Leavers’ Week 2018 took place from 24th to 31st October, and this year’s theme was ‘Aspire’ - encouraging aspiration and enabling all young care leavers to reach their full potential.

Based around this theme, YC Hertfordshire held four events across the county for all Hertfordshire care leavers and those preparing to leave care.

At the one-day events, which were organised in collaboration with care leavers themselves, 60 young people aged 16-21 took part in a variety of group activities and workshops to help them develop their own skills. Care leavers who have been working with the Children in Care Council (CHiCC) on ‘Project Positive’ gave a 10 minute presentation with inspirational stories about other young care leavers who have achieved great successes in their lives.

Care leavers with YC Hertfordshire advisers at the Stevenage event

Care leavers with YC Hertfordshire advisers at the Stevenage event

Natasha, aged 23: “Really informative, a really fun day filled with plenty of knowledge and advice."

Sarah, aged 16: “I learnt a lot about jobs for the future and how I could access help to get a job.”

Yemane, aged 18: “I enjoyed meeting lots of new people and listening to Herts Young Homeless. I’m interested in apprenticeships, so that was good to find out about.”

 

Young care leaver with bags of information and useful items

Young care leaver with bags of information and useful items at the Hemel Hempstead event

County Councillor Teresa Heritage, Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “YC Hertfordshire is brilliant at bringing together young people and inspiring them to achieve more than they thought was possible. The care leavers had a fantastic day and left with their confidence boosted and feeling reassured that they are supported at what can be a challenging time for any young person.”

Quotes from some of the professionals who attended the events:

Stephanie Bailey, Dacorum Borough Council: "I found today to be very encouraging and I hope the young people take advantage of the services that we deliver. I also would encourage YC Hertfordshire to run this event again as it benefits our young people and it’s a good way for us to do partnership working."

George Shipman, Service Development Manager for Vulnerable Young People Team: "There were lots of young people here today who all seemed really engaged and I hope they take away new information with them."

Carli Hedges, Herts Young Homeless: "This event was very informative and well prepared.  It was also very welcoming.  We will recommend the services of YC Hertfordshire and any future events to young people that we work with."

Dyion Harwood, Social Worker, Targeted Youth Support Team: "Please can we have more of these forums to support our young people."

Vez Nani, Targeted Youth Support Team: "Great event with a great turnout and interesting speakers."

Deborah Nicholas, Social Worker, Targeted Youth Support Team: "Very informative, paced at the young people's level. Fantastic goody bag."

Tangul Sami, Social Worker, Targeted Youth Support Team and Julie Scott, Leaving Care Personal Assistant: "Really beneficial for the young people. Great incentive for young people to attend."

Project Positive, which is also tying in with National Care Leavers’ Week, aims to raise awareness of the stigma that can be associated with care leavers as they try to enter the workplace. They are asking employers to reflect on how they might support care leavers into the workplace and to take a pledge to give these applicants a fair chance to prove themselves as individuals.

Support for care leavers available from YC Hertfordshire includes:

  • Five Care Leaver Hubs where they can join a programme which will help them with employability skills, emotional well-being and physical health.
  • A range of youth work programmes designed specifically for young people in care and care leavers, including independent living skills projects.

More information about the support for care leavers offered by YC Hertfordshire.